"The Thornton family has donated 600 acres of open space to the Santa Fe-based nonprofit Commonweal Conservancy, a conservation-based community development organization.
The donated land, valued at $1.86 million, is in the center of the 13,522-acre Galisteo Basin Preserve.
The Commonweal Conservancy placed a conservation easement on the land and donated it to the Santa Fe Conservation Trust.
"This 600-acre gift ensures that the heart of the Galisteo Basin Preserve will be permanently protected," said Ted Harrison, president of Commonweal Conservancy, in a statement. "It is a gift that will be forever celebrated by residents and visitors to this remarkable region."
The Thornton family has been selling its ranch to the Commonweal Conservancy in phases since 2003. So far, the family has donated 9,135 acres for the preserve, most of which will be conserved as open space, including 50 miles of public hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The Santa Fe Conservation Trust will hold conservation easements over the preserve's larger open spaces to ensure their permanent protection. " Link>>>>